Dave Insley

Just the Way That I Am (DIR)

Texas Platters

Firmest command of traditional Texas country music on the contemporary scene? On fourth LP Just the Way I Am, Dave Insley makes an airtight case for himself. Don't be distracted by the genre luminaries making appearances: Redd Volkaert, Dale Watson, and Kelly Willis, among others. Begin at Insley's rich, round croon that can encompass anything from Ernest Tubb's bark to Willie Nelson's reediness, with the clear, precise diction of Hank Thompson. He wraps that voice around a variety of flavors, from 100-proof honky-tonk (horn-kissed opener "Drinkin' Wine and Staring at the Phone," and Willis duet "Win-Win-Situation for Losers"), swamp pop ("Please Believe Me"), and plenty of two-steps and shuffles ("I Don't Know How This Story Ends," "Call Me If You Ever Change Your Mind"). With "Arizona Territory, 1904," Insley even takes on Marty Robbins' gunfighter ballads, rewriting "Big Iron" from the villain's viewpoint. Dave Insley's equipped for the job. (CD release: Sat., April 23, at the White Horse)

***.5

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